They say the holidays are the hardest times to be sober (Please note: I don’t know who ‘they’ are but ‘they’ are god damned right). It’s fucking hard.
Drum roll please…
I did it.
I survived Christmas (and Christmas Eve) sans alcohol. I mean that alone deserves a drink in itself, right?
I don’t know why ‘they’ say it is one of the hardest times but if I can theorize what makes it hard it is the plethora of Christmas parties and celebrations that typically revolve around alcohol, the stress of presents, traveling, being surrounded by family and the pressure of it all. For some the holiday’s are a cause of depression and loneliness and the thought of being around family is anxiety provoking. Fortunately I actually like both sides of my family and (maybe not fortunately) both sides have recovering alcoholics to whom I flocked to when I was in their presence.
If I am looking back on the ghosts of my Christmas’ past they have been filled with fireball, family, food, fireball (did I say that already) and (damn it I can’t find another word beginning with F) beer. Looking back I can’t remember a Christmas Eve in which I have not drank. Or a Christmas Eve for that matter. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about? Friends, family and fireball? No? Whoops. Well the holidays to me were about staying warm with some whiskey and beer, drinking into the nights with friends and family and then doing it all over again the next day.
This year instead of drinking I filled my mouth with any and every sweet I could get a hold of. I do not recommend this method but fortunately it worked for me. (Unfortunate for my girlfriend who has to hear me complain about losing my bikini model body and by bikini model body I mean not bikini model at all. Let’s just say I am feeling a little soft around the edges).
Surprisingly I had a lovely Christmas without alcohol. Wait, what did I just say? Sometimes I can’t even believe the shit that comes out of my mouth. Who am I? I don’t even know anymore.
It was relatively hard for me personally as I do still crave an iced cold beer to keep me warm on those baby-its-cold-outside-nights and to be honest to keep my anxiety to a manageable level. But I survived with no booze or freak outs. I should get a mother fucking medal of alcoholic honor.
But anyways, my eight-year-old brother still believes in Santa Claus and we think this may be the last year he believes in Santa (sorry if I just ruined Christmas for you but I feel as though if you are reading a blog about sobriety you should have figured that shit out by now but, if not, let me be the first to tell you that Santa isn’t real and neither is the Easter Bunny. Sorry). But anyways my point in ruining your life or rather telling you about my brothers belief in Santa is that I tried to surround myself with him most of the time. To see how happy he was about this seasons greetings put me in the Christmas spirit (well his enthusiasm and all the candy, cookies and food I consumed).
I am (or ‘was’ depending on when you read this) fortunate enough to have 16 days off (all for the price of 3) and so the week leading up to Christmas I got to take some time to relax and spend with both my brother and sister doing Christmas crafts (I was more excited than they were) and watching Christmas movies in pajamas and drinking hot cocoa. I felt like Buddy the Elf I was like CHRISTMAS!! This is awesome.
Christmas Eve we had a big slumber party consisting of 10 people, 4 dogs and a cat at my cousins ranch in Jamul. It is legitimately like a compound with three stories, a pool, a tennis court, a sauna and probably a bunch of other cool shit all on over an acre of land. It was lovely. PJs, warm fire (despite it being in the 70s outside), warm house, warm beverages and great food followed by way too many cookies and sweets. Heaven.
The next morning we woke up at the reasonable hour of 5:30 AM. Hell. Luckily for my brother there were no death threats as on Christmas morning and only Christmas morning this is acceptable behavior. Also since I wasn’t nursing a hang over I was already in a better mood. Kate refused to get out of bed and may or may not have mumbled a few fucks and flipped me off all before declaring she would not get up if coffee wasn’t already started. She also told Michael that Santa could hear everything and he should go back to sleep. Despite her relentlessness in trying to go back to bed and make the kid fear that Santa wouldn’t leave him any presents if he didn’t go back to bed — we got coffee started and started opening presents. After just one sip of coffee the Grinch — I mean that beautiful woman I love — was in better spirits.
Again, the best part of the morning was watching Michael open presents and to see the excitement on his face.
Once the presents were opened we all took naps and once we awoke and (still in my Pajamas) Kate and I departed on a little road trip to the bustling and beautiful town of Yuma, Arizona to see my dad and other family. With the two fur animals in tow as well.
We ended up spending Thurs night – Sunday day there and despite an awful display of Chargers “football” I didn’t drink. (Again, it’s pretty easy since my dad is 14 years sober). I had a great time hanging out with my pops and taking the dogs to the desert, reading, shopping, eating (duh), relaxing and drinking coffee. We hiked with my step mom and pops and had a lovely time altogether. I think I only put on real clothes like once and it was only for a short time.
Next up New Years. Bring it. Who wants to be hungover on the first day of the New Year anyway? Not me!
164 days and counting…
stay sober my friends.